Description With a roaring cackle and a deafening shriek, Palden Lahmo rides a flying mule across waves of blood and fire, wielding a menacing chopper, skull cup, and trident. Palden Lhamo, the protector goddess of the Tibetan city of Lhasa and of the Dalai Lama—the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people—was married to a bloodthirsty king. She warned her husband that unless he ceased inflicting misery on others, she would kill their only son. When the king refused, she carried out her threat: she murdered their son, skinned him, drank his blood, and then rode away on a mule using her son’s flayed skin as the saddle blanket. Delicately rendered in gold on a nearly black background, the composition requires a sustained gaze to distinguish the figures of Palden Lahmo and her companions from the flames, smoke, and mists that encircle them.
- Desire and Devotion: Art from India, Nepal, and Tibet in the John and Berthe Ford Collection. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara; Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham; Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong. 2001-2003.
Provenance Stuart Perrin, New York; purchased by John and Berthe Ford, Baltimore, March 25 1984.
Credit Gift of John and Berthe Ford, 2019
Download Image Add to Collection Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Creative Commons License